Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cenotaph and Veterans Memorial, Orangeville, ON

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Two stone war memorials stand in Orangeville’s Alexandra Park, 11 Second St at First Ave, behind the town hall.

The cenotaph honours Dufferin County residents who died in WW1. (WW2, Korea and Afghanistan have since been added.) It was unveiled in November 1923, “in proud and grateful memory of those who gave their lives for freedom, truth and righteousness.”

A bronze statue of a Canadian soldier stands on a pillar with the names of fallen soldiers. Standard phrases of remembrance surround the top of the pillar – greater love hath no man than this, their name liveth for evermore, they died that we might live – as well as the county crest in bronze and the years 1914-1918. A lower base lists key battles – Ypres, Sanctuary Woods, Passchendaele, Amiens, Courcelette, Vimy Ridge, Arras and Bourlon Woods. On the plinth are carved the last lines of John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields.

The Veterans Memorial was built in 2003 to honour those who served and returned from WW1, WW2 and the Korean War. Three slabs of Manitoulin limestone form a contemplative corner of the park, “in enduring gratitude to those of our community who were prepared to give their lives for our freedom.” The memorial was donated by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the local Legion branch and by the Town of Orangeville.

The Dufferin County Museum and Archives has a virtual war memorial to document its residents who served in WW1 (and indeed who served from Napoleonic Wars to today).

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Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at greatwar100reads.wordpress.com.

2 thoughts on “Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cenotaph and Veterans Memorial, Orangeville, ON

  1. Vimy Ridge – a four day battle, started on Easter Monday – resulted in over 3,500 Canadian soldiers dead, more than 7,000 wounded, 4,000 German soldiers captured, and an unknown number of dead and wounded German soldiers. The British-led Canadian Expeditionary Forces got control of the ridge but did not penetrate German lines. Germany considered the battle a draw. Authors Ian McKay and Jamie Swift question why Vimy became a symbol of Canada’s nationhood and a celebrated battle in their just published book “The Vimy Trap, Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the Great War”.

  2. Thanks for letting me know that The Vimy Trap is out, Vicki. Timely analysis as we approach the 100th anniversary frenzy of the battle at Vimy. I’ve added it to the ever-growing reading list.

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